Girl Scouts will be able to put a new patch on their vests after participating in a new curriculum designed to teach them about money. The Girl Scouts of the USA and MetLife are putting $800,000 behind the Girl Scout Global Financial Empowerment Initiative, which will provide lessons on budgeting, credit cards, credit scores, interest rates, loans, and more.
Scouts in Western Ohio, Charlotte, North Carolina, West Central Florida and New York, will participate. Since this is a global initiative, Japan, Poland, Brazil, Chile and Mexico will also join in to teach young girls the basics of financial management.
Girls feel financial education is important, but don’t feel confident in their skills
The Girl Scout Research Institute report, “Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy,” reveals that 90% of girls believe learning money management skills is important. However, only 12% said they are confident that they are equipped to make sound financial decisions.
Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said, “Financial capability is one of the most empowering and important skills that we can teach young girls today.”
Dennis White, CEO of the MetLife Foundation, which is partnering with the Girl Scouts to fund this initiative, agreed that financial education is vital. “Empowering young people to understand personal finance is critical to improving their financial futures.”
“Through our support of the Girl Scout Global Financial Empowerment Initiative we are providing girls with the necessary tools, skills, and knowledge they will need to make better financial decisions,” he said.
Girls and boys not equally prepared for their financial futures
A T. Rowe Price Foundation study conducted earlier this year found that girls don’t talk about money with their parents as much as boys do. Fifty percent of girls reported having money conversations with their parents, compared with 58% of boys.
Perhaps not surprisingly, only 38% of girls in the survey said they felt they were “very” or “extremely” smart when it comes to money. Forty-five percent of boys rated themselves very or extremely money-savvy.
Other findings indicated that parents think their sons are smarter than their daughters about money. Eighty percent of folks with a boy said he understands the value of a dollar, compared with 69% of people with a daughter. And parents are giving their boys more financial responsibility as well. Twelve percent of boys have access to a credit card through their parents, while only 6% of girls do.